Letters to the Editor

Vaccine access must be a global priority

Nov 11 2021, 4:04 PM

On Nov. 4, Vermont saw its all-time high in newly diagnosed Covid cases despite the fact that over 90% of eligible Vermonters have had at least one shot. 

Once again, Vermonters wonder and worry: Is it safe to get together for the holidays? 

Yet, the situation in many low-income countries is even more fraught. Many of these countries are imposing new lockdowns to stop the third wave of Covid-19 infections because they've been denied access to Covid-19 vaccines. And now they are dealing with the highly infectious Delta variant. 

Across the continent of Africa, less than 4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. In Vermont, we’ve had access to the vaccine for more than six months. Everyone deserves the access that we have had, no matter where they live.

President Biden and Congress must lead a global effort to bring together industry, governments and global health institutions to urgently increase the supply and distribution of vaccines. Sens. Leahy and Sanders and Rep. Welch are all in a position to act. Please join me in encouraging them to do so today.

Julia Russell